Your Opinion: Grain farmers also at risk

Dear Editor:

I have discussed Amendment 1’s benefit to the livestock industry because I am a livestock farmer.

The other side of ag, the grain industry is also at risk.

Lawsuits and laws have been targeting GMOs for sometime now.

GMOs, genetically modified organisms, have been around for over 20 years. They allow grain farmers to use less herbicides, less pesticides and less water while producing more grain; most of this gain goes into animal feed.

A few vegetables have been genetically modified to produce hardier varieties that can withstand pests.

Nowhere since GMOs were created has there been a credible study proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are bad for humans or the environment. Yet, there are groups who want them banned.

We are all at risk from the EPA’s over reach. The Clean Water Act was created to address chemical runoff from many different sources and it has served its purpose well but now the EPA wants to expand its definition of navigable waters to include “waters of the United States.” Ditches, creeks and farm ponds could soon be under the jurisdiction of the EPA.

Urban encroachment has been a problem since Johnny came marching home from World War II. Farm land has been taken by eminent domain for suburban expansion and livestock farms have been driven out of business because the city has moved to their back door. What protections do we have from progress.

Amendment 1 will not dismiss the existing laws, it will not give farmers the right to pollute or mistreat animals. It will not protect only corporate farms (who thought up that one, anyway?) What does it say about our state, our culture, that farmers who have tried to do everything right have to seek the protection of the constitution to farm.

Every sector of agriculture is under attack by some group for some absurd reason. We are tired of constantly defending our livelihoods to groups of people who think that they know how to farm better than us, when the truth is they are totally clueless.

Give farming a break — vote yes on Amendment 1.

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